In part II, we add the Linux server to the Veeam managed servers, and we add the immutable repositories. We also demonstrate some of the incompatible backup job settings and repository configurations Veeam will block those for you if you try to configure them.

The Veeam configuration

Add the Linux server as a Veeam managed server

To add the Linux repository server to the Veeam VBR 11 Managed Servers with the new single-use credentials for the hardened repository feature, we must disable or bypass MFA on the account we use.

Temporarily bypass MFA

Figure 1: Temporarily bypass MFA

Launch the “Add Server” wizard

Add a Linux managed server

Figure 2: Add a Linux managed server

Single-use credentials for adding a hardened repository

Figure 3: Single-use credentials for adding a hardened repository

Fill out the username and password. Disable MFA for the user at this point!

Figure 4: Fill out the username and password. Disable MFA for the user at this point!

Take a peek under the advanced connection settings. Noteworthy is that in v11, a single port, TCP/6162, is used for management by veeamtransport. By default, any port between TCP/2500-3300 is used for the data transfer by the veeamagent.

New in v11 is port 6162 for management

Figure 5: New in v11 is port 6162 for management

You can verify this once you have installed the Linux repository. When no backup job is running netstat -tpnul | grep -i veeam only returns the veeamtransport listening on tcp/6162.

An idle repository, only veeamtransport is listening on TCP/6162

Figure 6: An idle repository, only veeamtransport is listening on TCP/6162

During a backup job, extra ports from the range 2500-3300 opened by veeamagent. Run netstat -tpnul | grep -i Veeam | sort -n -k2 to see this.

Starting at port TCP/2500 extra ports are opened during backup jobs

Figure 7: Starting at port TCP/2500 extra ports are opened during backup jobs

But that is for later. Let’s finish adding the Linux managed server.

Veeam is installing the components. Note the setting of the server and client certificates

Figure 8: Veeam is installing the components. Note the setting of the server and client certificates

Those server and client certificates you see here serve to authenticate between Veeam components from now on. That allows for SSH to be disabled.

Done. Disable SSH or enable MFA. You're good to go

Figure 9: Done. Disable SSH or enable MFA. You’re good to go

Remember that the single-use credentials only exist on the hardened repository and are not stored on the VBR server. Right now, you must take away sudo rights from that user. They are not needed anymore.

Reenable MFA for that user or disable SSH on the repository host.

Add the hardened Linux backup repository

We add our Linux backup repository with the wizard.

Select Direct Attached Storage

Figure 10: Select Direct Attached Storage

Select Linux

Figure 11: Select Linux

Fill out a repository name to use

Figure 12: Fill out a repository name to use

Click Next. Click populate and select our XFS volume.

Populate the volumes and select the XFS volume

Figure 13: Populate the volumes and select the XFS volume

Click Next. As you can see, we select to use fast cloning on the XFS volume. We already explained why this is the way to go.

Use fast cloning and make the backup immutable

Figure 14: Use fast cloning and make the backup immutable

Note that the default value for the number of days to make backup immutable is 30. That makes sense as ransomware can linger inside your systems for a while before striking, and you need time for GFS to do its job. In the lab, we choose seven days for testing purposes. Note that seven days is the minimum. FYI, I use per VM backup chains almost exclusively,

Click Next. The rest is pretty standard for adding a Veeam repository.

Mount server properties

Figure 15: Mount server properties

I have a Hyper-V lab, so I don’t use the vPower NFS service. If you do, add it. Click Next, and the required Veeam components will install. If you get any errors here, be sure to verify the rights of the single-use user you used to add the server to the Veeam managed servers. Ensure it has rwx rights on the XFS volume.

Install the required Veeam components

Figure 16: Install the required Veeam components

The critical thing to note here is that you can do all this with SSH on the server disabled or protected by MFA. The only time you needed to SSH into the Linux server is when creating the managed server object in Veeam.

Note: A repository host has to either host immutable repositories or standard (non-immutable) repositories. You cannot mix both on the same host. That is logical. In almost every case, you will add them as extents to a scale-out backup repository. You don’t want a SOBR with some extents being immutable and another not. That’s not consistent and won’t work out.

You cannot mix immutable and mutable repositories on the same host

Figure 17: You cannot mix immutable and mutable repositories on the same host

Create some jobs and run some backups

Veeam protects us from unsupported configurations. A few examples below.

Changing or creating a backup job's

Figure 18: Changing or creating a backup job’s backup chain to an unsupported configuration: we turn off synthetic full backups

Creating a backup copy job without GFS configured

Figure 19: Creating a backup copy job without GFS configured

The backups run and look as any other Veeam backup job.

Veeam backup job

Figure 20: Veeam backup job

If we set the number of immutability days higher than the retention days or restore points, Veeam notifies us of this. It lets us know that the files are immutable longer than defined by the restore points. These files will remain on the repository until the immutability period has expired. According to your settings, Veeam does not need to care about these restore points in the console/database. At least, that is how I read that message.

The immutability period will determine how long backup files will be around

Figure 21: The immutability period will determine how long backup files will be around

Do note that thse backup files will become mutable after the immutability period has expired and at a next backup run will be cleard from the repository as well. I tested this and this works.

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Didier Van Hoye
Didier Van Hoye
Didier Van Hoye is an IT veteran with over 17 years of expertise in Microsoft technologies, storage, virtualization and networking. He works mainly as a subject matter expert advisor and infrastructure architect in Wintel environments leveraging DELL hardware to build the best possible high performance solutions with great value for money. He contributes his experience and knowledge to the global community as Microsoft MVP in Hyper-V, a Veeam Vanguard, a member of the Microsoft Extended Experts Team in Belgium and a DELL TechCenter Rockstar. He does so as a blogger, author, presenter and public speaker